Friday, April 27, 2007

Suspended Jail Sentence Permitted in Juvenile Cases. In the Interest of M.C. 384 N.J. Super. 116 (App Div. 2006)

A Family Court judge imposed suspended sentences in three separate, unrelated juvenile cases involving defendants M.C., M.P., and S.J. The State contended that the sentences imposed are illegal. The Code of Juvenile Justice, N.J.S.A. 2A: 4A-20 to -91 (the Code), should be interpreted to permit suspended sentences. The Code is silent on the subject of suspended sentences. Nevertheless, the court concluded that its provisions are sufficiently flexible to permit our courts to impose suspended sentences as a viable disposition, given its fundamental rehabilitative and penal objectives.